Friday, 20 July 2012

Bon Voyage!

In this holiday period the European Commission has many travel-related issues on its agenda.

Yesterday, a public consultation was launched that aims at finding out what is the situation for victims of cross-border traffic accidents in the EU. It is estimated that at least 2% of all road accidents in the EU involve visitors from other EU countries. These can be tourists, cross-border workers or cross-border commuters. If a EU citizen is a victim of a car accident, he is likely to want to claim some compensation for his damages. Unfortunately, the EU law in this area is not harmonised, which means that there are different national rules for claiming such compensation. Especially problematic is the difference in time limits for making a claim which can range from 1 to 10 years (see Annex: Have a safe trip: Commission consults on how to help victims of road accidents abroad). These cut-off periods may contribute to making it difficult for the victims to claim compensation. The consultation will be open until 19 November and it is supposed to shed some light as to what future actions should the European Commission take. For example, it could harmonise limitation and prescription periods in the EU or it could just try to improve information given to victims of cross-border road accidents.

Additionally, the European Commission announced yesterday its approval for the Single European Sky Performance Scheme. The scheme contains national performance plans that are supposed to save billions of Euros for air passengers as well as airlines in years 2012-2014 by improving air navigation services. This would result in less delays, cheaper flights and reduction of environmental impact of air traffic. Currently, it is estimated that passengers ultimately pay between 6% and 10% of the airline's operating costs. The goal is to reduce user charges by ca. 2.4 billion Euros. (Commission approves national performance plans to reduce costs and...)

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